The Pros and Cons of a Senior Home Share

The Pros and Cons of a Senior Home Share


These days there are more senior living options in Florida than you can imagine, and some creative home sharing arrangements are making a surprising comeback.

Perhaps it’s true, everything old is new again. You may remember “The Golden Girls,” a popular sitcom from the 1980s that captured the hearts of many. Not only were the “girls” wildly entertaining, but they also taught us a valuable lesson about the significance of maintaining a social life well into our senior years.

A living arrangement that has been gaining in popularity in recent years, this kind of senior home sharing enjoyed by the Golden Girls presents a unique solution to older adults facing the challenges of inflation and rising costs. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. In fact, what home sharing offers in cost savings, it lacks in perks and peace of mind associated with traditional Florida senior living communities.

In short, if you are considering a senior home share, be sure to read up on the pros and cons of co-housing for seniors before you sign a lease!

What Is A Senior Home Share?

Home sharing may look and feel eerily reminiscent of the co-housing arrangement many of us experienced as a young adult or college roommate. Yet, the uniqueness of a senior home share lies in the shared experience of older adults who have reached a similar stage of life. It’s often viewed as an opportunity to create meaningful connections and form lasting friendships with individuals who understand the challenges and joys that come with aging. In a senior home share, roommates can reminisce about their past experiences while navigating the present together, fostering a sense of camaraderie and support that is truly special.

Many older adults are choosing a home share living arrangement primarily to pool resources and responsibilities. Each housemate typically has their own private space, such as a bedroom, while common areas are shared, including the kitchen, living room, and outdoor spaces.

According to Mary Gilbank-Peterson, founder of the National Shared Housing Resource Center, a senior home share allows seniors to age in a home-like setting while providing companionship, support, and cost-sharing opportunities. Seniors maintain their independence while also benefiting from reduced expenses and the emotional support that comes from living with others in a similar stage of life. As an alternative option to senior care homes, home sharing is another way to combat loneliness and social isolation.

Cutting Down Costs and Chores

Home sharing is also good for cutting down on costs and chores. According to an article by AARP, intergenerational home shares often help older adults age in place while removing the burden of home maintenance duties. For example, a homeowner may offer space in their home in exchange for help with household activities like changing the light bulbs or sweeping the floors.

But for those seeking a housemate, it can be difficult to know who you’ll be compatible with. That’s where online roommate matching comes in. Online matching services make finding a housemate easier. Services offered through homesharing platforms Silvernest and Home Match connect those both willing to share a home and those in search of one. It’s a win-win situation for some.

For others, a senior home share may not be enough.

 Home Sharing vs. Senior Living Communities

Like ridesharing or coworking spaces, home sharing can be an effective cost-cutting strategy, but it’s not ideal for aging adults who may need personal care and support. Many older adults will eventually require some level of care and assistance, and an assisted living community is better equipped to meet the evolving long-term care needs of older adults.

Sonata Senior Living assisted living communities are staffed by professional caregivers who are available around the clock to provide assistance with activities of daily living, medication management, and health care monitoring. This type of senior care community is designed to provide a safe and supportive environment where older adults benefit from care and wellness services while still having access to daily social activities and life enrichment programming. It’s like the Golden Girls, but safer.

The Role of Professional Caregivers

While a senior home share can be an appealing option for some, it falls short of the professional caregiving infrastructure that is essential for older adults with personal care needs. Moving to an assisted living community ensures that the necessary care and support are readily available, providing peace of mind for both seniors and their families.

For the ultimate in convenience, communities such as Sonata East at Viera and Sonata Lake Mary offer a continuum of lifestyles on site, welcoming older adults to move in while they are independent and later transition to higher levels of care if and when they need it.

In short, assisted living communities are a better living arrangement for those who need personal care and assistance managing a long-term health condition or disability.

Learn six ways assisted living helps older adults with disabilities.

Home Sharing For Companionship

The hilarious banter between Golden Girls Blanche Devereaux and Rose Nylund underscore the beauty of supporting friends through ups and downs later in life and the health benefits of socialization are well documented in the research. In fact, senior living communities have known about and tapped into the positive aspects of maintaining a social life for decades!

In senior living communities, residents enjoy all the positive aspects of having an active social life, but with added safety and support. By design, senior communities come with a built-in, expansive network of social supports, including friends, neighbors, caregivers, dining, cleaning and maintenance staff, lifestyle directors, and administrators. At Sonata Senior Living, in addition to a full and dedicated staff, a concierge is available to provide assistance whenever it’s needed.

Among the many services, amenities and perks, it’s the social fitness aspect of senior living that is directly correlated to healthy aging, and the reason for the laugh track bestowed by Golden Girl besties.

Choosing a Senior Living Community for Peace of Mind

The 1980s marked a different era, and while senior home sharing may offer companionship and affordability, it can’t compare to the multitude of services and amenities, care and security found in modern senior livingcommunities today.

When it comes to a well-rounded living arrangement, a senior living community ticks all the boxes. Fitness and heart-healthy activities? Check. Senior nutrition? Check. Wellness services? Check. Safety? Double check! Most importantly, a senior living community is the best way to access essential care while improving your social life. It’s why a significant number of older adults in Florida choose the worry-free lifestyle provided by a senior living community like Sonata.

To learn more about personal care support at an assisted living community, schedule a visit
to a Sonata Senior Living community near you.


Visit Sonata Senior Living and find out how personalized programming in assisted living promotes independence and well-being.


agewell solvere living

AgeWell Solvere Living Announces Management of Sonata Senior Living Communities

agewell solvere living


Florida-based senior living management company AgeWell Solvere Living, a respected leader in the senior living industry, is pleased to announce a strategic move that further strengthens its position and offerings. Effective November 1, 2023, AgeWell Solvere Living assumed management of the Sonata Senior Living communities and integrated both organizations’ leadership teams to create a unified and dynamic force in senior living.

The merger of management and leadership teams is aimed at enhancing the quality and depth of support and offerings that the combined company will provide to investors, residents, and team members. The company will continue to operate out of its offices in North Palm Beach and retain the Sonata Senior Living office in Orlando, Florida.

The integration of leadership teams from AgeWell Solvere Living and Sonata Senior Living reflects an alignment of values and a shared dedication to excellence. Together, we pledge to preserve the rich legacies of both organizations while striving for continuous improvement and innovation. Community residents and teams will enjoy the rich blend of experience and innovation brought by the combined leadership teams.

Chairman Larry Landry stated, “I’m very positive about this merger.  In addition to providing more competitive resources for our owners and communities, the merging companies share strong culture and values which supports residents and team members.”

Sonata Senior Living founder and managing partner, Stuart Beebe, explained his reasoning in approaching AgeWell Solvere about the merger. “I knew from their reputation that AgeWell Solvere was one of the few companies that would match well with our entrepreneurial spirit, culture, and strong work ethic. Their expertise, experience, and demonstrated hands-on approach to getting the job ‘done day in and day out’ gave me confidence that this merger made sense and would be successful.”

AgeWell Co-CEO Kristin Kutac Ward added, “We are excited about strengthening our presence in Florida and the Southeast region with the addition of the Sonata portfolio and their key team members. We are now even better equipped to support our Southeastern communities and owners with this strategic merger.”

Mark Lichtenwalner, Co-CEO explained the combined synergy. “We are honored to be adding the Sonata brand and culture to our diverse AgeWell Solvere portfolio of managed communities. Sonata Senior Living is a name synonymous with excellence and the addition of several of their key leadership team members will only enhance our top tier talent.”

This merger will result in a total of 34 communities under management for AgeWell Solvere Living located in seven different states. The combined presence in Florida will consist of 22 managed communities.

About AgeWell Solvere Living

Founded in 2009, AgeWell Solvere Living is a Florida-based operating company that has been certified as a “Great Place to Work”, and focused on delivering exceptional service to owners, residents, families, and team members alike. Our name, AgeWell Solvere Living, combines our successful aging philosophy to “age well” with the Latin solvere, which means “to solve”, and embodies our mission to create value-driven solutions. Our vision is to inspire people to realize their full potential – from the residents who live in the communities we manage to the team members who bring their talents to these communities, we strive to support everyone in adding meaningful and inspiring new chapters to their lives.

As we look ahead, our next years and beyond will be driven by our core values of loyalty, integrity, transparency and the fuel for it all, entrepreneurship. These values power our search for solutions, from the next big idea or the small innovation that can have a significant impact on the lives of the people we serve.

For more information on the company, please visit

About Sonata Senior Living

Sonata Senior Living is a regional owner, developer, and operator of independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities. Founded in 2008, Sonata manages 14 communities throughout Florida. The tenured Sonata team has earned a longstanding reputation as a trusted and proven provider of new development and turnaround acquisitions. Recipients of multiple Argentum Best of Best Awards, innovation, and service awards, Sonata’s pursuit of service excellence, unwavering commitment to its core values, and investment in top talent have made Sonata a provider of choice.

thriving after loss

Thriving After Loss

Thriving After Loss

Empowering Widows in Senior Living Communities

Losing a spouse is an incredibly painful experience and one that only someone who has gone through it can truly understand. The fear of being alone can be overwhelming, and it’s natural to wonder if you will ever be able to find joy and companionship again.

At Sonata Senior Living, we believe that every widow deserves to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Widowhood can be a challenging chapter of life, but it can also be an opportunity for growth. By acknowledging your feelings, practicing self-care, and building a support network in a senior living community, you can start to embrace your independence and create a meaningful life after the loss of a spouse.

If you’ve recently suffered the loss of a spouse, we invite you to lean on Sonata Senior Living during this time of change, healing, and growing. In the meantime, there are seven important steps you can take now to empower yourself as a new widow and get started in your journey.

  1. Acknowledge and Process Your Feelings

The first step towards healing after the loss of a spouse is acknowledging and honoring your emotions. Living through such a profound loss takes time and patience. Give yourself permission to grieve. Remember that there is no timeline for grieving, and everyone copes with loss in different ways. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist who specializes in grief counseling. Sharing your feelings with others can be tremendously cathartic and will help you gain perspective as you navigate this new chapter of your life.

If you live in Central Florida, you can schedule an appointment with a grief counselor at Orlando Health.

  1. Take Time for Self-Care

While it can be tempting to isolate yourself, self-care is crucial during this challenging period. There are health consequences to social isolation, so it helps to focus on engaging in activities that bring you comfort. Make an effort to get exercise and eat nourishing foods, and be sure you’re getting enough rest. If self-care seems overwhelming, take baby steps. Even a short walk can make all the difference in your well-being. In time, nurturing your physical and emotional well-being will empower you to embrace your independence and build resilience.

  1. Cultivate a Support Network

Surrounding yourself with caring individuals who can provide companionship, empathy, and understanding is essential. Seek out widow support groups either in-person or online, where you can connect with others who are navigating a similar journey. These communities offer a safe space to share experiences, exchange advice, and form new friendships. Remember, you are not alone. Discover grief support groups in and around Orlando, Florida.

  1. Discover New Connections

Moving beyond the fear of being alone often involves openness to new connections. Remember that it’s absolutely okay to reenter the dating world if and when you feel ready. Online dating platforms can offer a comfortable and low-pressure way to meet new people and explore potential companionship., and eHarmony are all great options. By embracing the possibility of new relationships, you are taking an important step towards creating a fulfilling future for yourself as a widow.

  1. Explore Senior Living

Independent living communities in Florida can be a great option for widows seeking companionship and socialization in a supportive environment. Sonata Senior Living communities offer a range of amenities and activities tailored to residents’ interests and preferences, fostering an engaging and dynamic lifestyle for older adults. From fitness classes and special interest clubs to cultural outings and art classes, there are countless opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and make lasting friendships in senior living.

  1. Simplify Life

Retirement communities help widows downsize, simplify their lives, and focus on enjoying their retirement years with peace of mind that home maintenance needs will always be met. Senior living gives widows the freedom to live life on their own terms while enjoying the added benefits of a supportive community. Assisted living and memory care support are also available for those who require additional support as they age.

The idea of an “senior home” has changed radically over the past decade. While former generations looked at retirement as a reward for a lifetime of hard work, modern seniors view retirement as a rebirth. The old folk’s home in years past may have spent long, lazy afternoons in bingo competitions, but things have changed. Today, senior living communities like Sonata Lake Mary, Sonata Windermere and Sonata East at Viera prioritize diverse, life-enriching activities such as gardening, foreign language classes, yoga, tai chi, and more.

  1. Embrace Lifelong Learning

Continuing to learn and grow is essential. Many senior living communities offer educational opportunities on a wide range of subjects, such as history, art, and technology, allowing seniors to pursue new interests and stay intellectually stimulated. Enrolling in classes or joining discussion groups can provide valuable social interactions while expanding your knowledge and horizons.

Group activities, volunteer opportunities, group games, parties, social events and group dining are all quite common in senior living facilities, helping widows work through the grief process. The wide variety of events and activities encourage residents to make friends and participate in social activities while providing a sense of belonging, purpose, and fulfillment.

Thriving After Loss is a Process

Remember, you are stronger than you know, and by taking small steps towards a brighter future, you can find companionship, joy, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Schedule a tour today of a Sonata Senior Living community near you to learn more.


Find out how rent-based independent living at Sonata provides financial freedom and more time to live life to the fullest!


sonata in autumn

Five Reasons to FALL For Sonata in Autumn

Five Reasons to FALL For Sonata in Autumn

As the seasons transition, join us in bidding farewell to long, hot summer days and welcoming in the cozy embrace of autumn’s crisp and colorful arrival.

Fall is a time of transition in more ways than one. It’s also the perfect time to unlock the secrets hidden within Sonata’s independent and assisted living communities in Central and South Florida. Whatever your ideal retirement lifestyle looks like, you will find it at Sonata in autumn!

If you are contemplating a move this fall, we have five compelling reasons that will make you fall in love with Sonata Senior Living.

  1. Soak in the Sun

If you live in Florida, fall and winter are the best times of year to enjoy the outdoors. While seniors up north endure colder temperatures, ice and sometimes even snow, fall in Central and South Florida is paradise. Sonata Senior Living communities offer outdoor recreation and an abundance of green spaces with lush, manicured landscapes that provide the ideal setting to enjoy outdoor living. Enjoy leisurely walks around our campus, bask in the warmth of the Florida sun on our outdoor patios, terraces, and courtyards, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that makes Florida the most popular location for retirement living.

  1. Bid Farewell to Home Maintenance

As much as we love the fall, it’s a common time of year for home maintenance demands to increase. By moving to Sonata in autumn, you can bid farewell to the burdens of home maintenance. Senior living is designed for maintenance-free living, allowing you to fully enjoy your retirement without worrying about tasks such as mowing the lawn, cleaning gutters, pressure washing the house or tuning up the air conditioner. Instead, you can focus on enjoying the vibrant array of activities and events that independent living at Sonata Senior Living has to offer.

In short, a fall move means saying goodbye to the hassle of home maintenance and hello to a carefree and vibrant retirement lifestyle.

  1. Choice of Accommodations

Choosing Sonata Senior Living during the fall season provides you with a greater selection of accommodations. Whether you prefer a cozy studio, a spacious one-bedroom apartment, or a large two-bedroom apartment, our independent living and assisted living communities cater to diverse preferences and needs. With fewer residents moving at this time of year, you’ll secure the living space that perfectly matches your individual lifestyle.

Learn the three fundamental ways senior living improves quality of life.

  1. Beat the Holiday Rush

When it comes to what’s important in retirement living, some say location, location, location. We say timing, timing, timing!

Because many older adults decide to sell their home and move in the winter, fall offers a serene and calm period before the frenzy of the holiday season. By moving to a Sonata Senior Living community during this peaceful time, you can seamlessly transition into your new apartment without distractions. Take advantage of the tranquility to establish meaningful connections with fellow residents before the holiday festivities begin.

That’s not all! Most Florida natives know the threat of hurricanes extends well into October, and senior living communities offer safe shelter from the storm.  With the frequency of recent storms, many families love the peace of mind provided by the reinforced structures and generators maintained by Sonata Senior Living.

  1. Settle In Before the Festive Season

Moving to a senior living community involves an adjustment period. By moving to Sonata Senior Living in the fall, you can comfortably settle into your new home before the holiday season commences. Establishing a routine, familiarizing yourself with the community, and forming meaningful connections will ensure that when the joyful holiday celebrations arrive, you’ll be fully immersed and ready to embrace the festivities with your new Sonata family.

Fall in Love with Sonata in Autumn

For many older adults, fall and winter can be a lonely time of year. Especially for those who live alone and don’t have friends or family nearby. After a move to Sonata, many older adults are surprised to learn how making friends can improve health.

That’s because at Sonata Senior Living, older adults live an active and engaging lifestyle, surrounded by the support of new friends. Our lifestyle directors custom curate a variety of seasonal activities and daily activities calendar that keep our residents happy, health and engaged, while fostering social connections.

Residents enjoy autumn-inspired arts and crafts, festive harvest festivals, and educational programs tailored to excite and entertain. Autumn-inspired events offer enjoyable experiences while helping our residents forge meaningful friendships with like-minded individuals.

Sonata in Autumn

Choose tranquility before the holiday rush, engage in seasonal activities, enjoy a wide range of accommodation options, and settle in before the festive season begins. Experience the joys of independent and assisted living at Sonata Senior Living, where the fall season sets the stage for a fulfilling retirement journey.

Schedule a tour today of a Sonata Senior Living community near you to learn more.

Read reviews and more at Sonata Senior Living’s Google Business Profile.


Find out how rent-based independent living at Sonata provides financial freedom and more time to live life to the fullest!


move to memory care

Is it too Soon? The Right Time To Move To Memory Care

Is it too Soon? The Right Time To Move To Memory Care

Is it too soon to consider moving your loved one to a memory care community? This is a question that many caregivers grapple with when caring for someone in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Deciding on the right time to make the transition to a memory care community can be emotionally challenging, but understanding why a move to memory care may make more sense in the early stages of the disease can help you make a better decision for your family.

Understanding the Progressive Nature of Brain Disease

First and foremost, it is important to recognize the progressive nature of a brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease causes the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, including beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Over time, brain cells, or neurons, lose the ability to transmit information effectively, leading to the deterioration of memory, thinking, problem-solving, and various other challenging symptoms.

Intensive research efforts are focused on unraveling the complexities of progressive brain disease in hopes of developing preventive measures, but until we find a cure, many families seek the help of memory care communities like Serenades Memory Care by Sonata.

Assisted Living or Memory Care For Alzheimer’s Disease

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s normal to worry about the future. The disease progresses at a different rate for everyone, so while there is no definitive answer as to when it is “too soon” to seek memory care, thinking about the future can help you decide what is best for your loved one today.

When you have dementia, personal care and support are important, but there are other aspects that should be considered when evaluating long-term care options. It helps to understand the differences between lifestyle options.

Assisted living facilities in Florida focus on providing assistance with daily activities of living and maintaining a comfortable living environment. However, when it comes to memory challenges, person-directed care can make a significant difference in how your loved one experiences symptoms, including anxiety, agitation, and confusion.

That’s because memory care communities are dedicated to providing care tailored to the unique needs of individuals with memory challenges. Dementia-certified professionals understand the confusing symptoms and behaviors of memory-related illnesses and are trained to respond appropriately. This specialization enables them to offer a level of support, safety, and security that surpasses that of traditional assisted living communities.

Recognizing Signs That It May Be Time For Memory Care

So, when is it time to seek the services of a memory care community? As a caregiver, it is important to be proactive in monitoring your loved one’s well-being and safety at home. Some key indicators that may signal the need for a move to memory care include:

  • Safety: If your loved one is displaying increasingly complex or risk-prone behaviors such as wandering, confusion, or falling, their safety may be compromised. Memory care communities are designed to provide a secure environment tailored to the unique challenges faced by seniors with memory loss.
  • Isolation: Noticeable changes in your loved one’s social interactions, withdrawal from hobbies and activities, or a decline in their ability to initiate or engage in conversation should factor into your decision. Memory care communities offer a supportive environment that encourages social interaction, engagement, and companionship, helping to prevent social isolation and withdrawal.
  • Caregiver stress: Caring for someone with memory challenges requires a tremendous amount of physical, emotional, and mental energy. If your own well-being is compromised, or you are unable to provide the level of care and support your loved one needs, it might be time to tour memory care communities.

The added worry and stress placed on family caregivers sometimes causes caregiver burnout – a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. There are at least seven proven strategies to prevent caregiver burnout and many of them involve moving to a memory care community. But waiting too long to move to memory care presents its own set of challenges.

Advantages of Moving To Memory Care Early in Disease Progression

Caregivers face a variety of responsibilities and challenges when caring for an aging parent with memory challenges. Moving to a memory care community in the early stages, or GEMS States, provides advantages for both the person with memory impairment and their caregiver. These include:

  • Specialized care: For one, memory care communities employ specially trained professionals who have expertise in caring for individuals with memory challenges. Their knowledge ensures your loved one receives the level of support and attention needed to cope with their ever-changing dementia symptoms before they become too difficult for you to manage at home.
  • Enhanced safety measures: Memory care communities are specifically designed to minimize risks associated with memory loss. From secure entrances, exits, and alarms to support safe wandering to floor plan layouts that reduce confusion, memory care communities are safer for seniors with dementia.
  • Socialization and engagement: Memory care communities recognize the importance of social interaction in maintaining cognitive function and quality of life. By offering stimulating activities and providing a supportive social environment, older adults with memory impairment can continue to create meaningful connections with others, ultimately improving quality of life.
  • Purpose-built design: Some memory care communities have special architectural features designed to alleviate confusion and anxiety such as color cueing and family-style dining and living rooms. This concept, known as purpose-built design, directs residents to common areas to encourage socialization and other activities that are known to ease negative symptoms.
  • Tailored nutrition: Memory care communities feature menus that meet the unique dietary needs of individuals with memory challenges. Trained caregivers use special strategies that can help residents receive added nutrition from the dementia diet.

Safety may become more difficult to maintain in the family home as Alzheimer’s disease symptoms and behaviors worsen over time. We’ve all heard stories about people who have wandered too far from home and become lost. Waiting too long to move to the safety of memory care community living may increase your loved one’s risk of injury.

Moving to a memory care community early also helps reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies caused by appetite lossand other common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Moreover, people with dementia tend to become withdrawn. As they lose the ability to communicate in later stages, family caregivers are often more inclined to do “for” rather than do “with.” In memory care communities like Serenades, professional caregivers are trained to emphasize retained abilities over lost abilities. They focus on helping the person maintain independence longer, while minimizing distress, agitation, and anxiety.

A Safe and Supportive Community For Memory Challenges

Over time, as symptoms worsen, Alzheimer’s disease can interfere with quality of life. Caregivers who understand the progressive nature of the disease and know how to tailor support and care to the person (rather than the disease) can ease unwanted symptoms and make living with memory loss more enjoyable, even as your loved one gradually loses independence.

Deciding on the right time to move to memory care is a deeply personal decision. By understanding the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s disease and recognizing signs that it may be time for a transition, caregivers can make informed choices that both protect their loved one’s safety and extend quality of life.

Memory care communities offer person-directed care, enhanced safety measures, socialization opportunities, and tailored nutrition, ensuring that individuals with early-stage dementia or Alzheimer’s disease thrive in a safe and supportive environment that feels like home.

If you’re planning a move to memory care for a loved one, we’d love to meet you in person to discuss your needs! Schedule a visit to Serenades Memory Care community to learn more.

Read reviews and more at Sonata Senior Living’s Google Business Profile.


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.


Healthy Aging Hacks

Healthy Aging Hacks by Senior Living Experts

Healthy Aging Hacks by Senior Living Experts

When healthy aging is the goal, we discovered the hacks (or shortcuts, if you prefer) that make getting there a whole lot easier. In fact, it’s our specialty.

Seniors today have more lifestyle choices, more care options, and better technology to support healthy aging. At Sonata Senior Living, it’s our job to support them in that journey to lifelong health and wellness.

As senior living experts, we wrote the book on healthy aging hacks – from the power of learning and laughter to the importance of nutrition, exercise, and more. Our healthy aging hacks will help you discover the secret to living a longer, healthier life filled with vitality, joy, and purpose using these seven easy strategies:

  • LEARN…to stay sharp
  • LAUGH…to infuse joy
  • EAT…to fuel health
  • MUSIC…to improve mood
  • CHECK-UP…for prevention
  • MOVE…for heart health
  • PURPOSE…for fulfillment 


Age may bring us wisdom and knowledge through a lifetime of experience, but the lifelong journey of learning should never cease! As we age, the ongoing pursuit of knowledge is incredibly important for keeping the mind active and sharp. By challenging ourselves intellectually, we can maintain and enhance our cognitive abilities, contributing to long-term brain health!

Lifelong learning has a direct correlation to healthy aging. Here’s how:

  • Mental stimulation: Like brain-booting activities, learning stimulates various cognitive functions, such as attention, memory, and problem-solving skills.
  • Personal growth: Learning new things as an older adult opens the door to new perspectives and ideas that expand our horizons. It fosters personal growth and self-discovery, allowing us to continue evolving as individuals into our 80s and beyond.
  • Adaptability and resilience: Lifelong learning equips us with the adaptive skills and resilience needed to navigate life’s ever-changing landscape. It keeps us open-minded and flexible, enabling us to embrace change and overcome challenges as we get older.
  • Social connections: Pursuing learning opportunities later in life involves connecting with others who share our interests and passions. This creates opportunities for meaningful social connections and fosters a sense of belonging and engagement. Especially in senior living communities like Sonata, participating in seminars or joining clubs, classes, and activities not only expands our knowledge, but expands and nurtures our social network, which also contributes to healthy aging!

Age is just a number, but our capacity to learn and grow remains boundless. Through continuous learning, we nourish our minds, expand our perspectives, and unlock the limitless potential within us.

Senior living comes equipped with lifelong learning opportunities designed to keep older minds engaged. By exploring new topics, hobbies, and skills, older adults in senior living uncover hidden talents and cultivate a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

At Sonata Senior Living, we create meaningful and educational experiences as part of our life enrichment programming. We offer classes, seminars, and workshops on topics that interest residents. Residents enjoy painting, dancing, cooking, learning a new skill or language, or delving into history, science, or culture. Each day offers up a full calendar of activities and events and the possibilities are endless!


When it comes to healthy aging, laughter really is the best medicine! Laughter brings people closer together and strengthens the bonds between friends, both old and new.

As a healthy aging hack, laughing will not only make us happier, but it also makes you healthier, and better equipped to handle stressors in life. There’s even science to prove it!

Let laughter be your secret weapon in your healthy aging journey. It’s a gift you can give freely and receive abundantly along with many benefits to your health!

  • Boosts mood: Laughter is contagious, and its positive effects on mood are simply magical! It can ease anxiety, uplift spirits, and create more joy. It’s especially helpful for seniors prone to depression.
  • Reduces stress levels: Laughter helps release stress and tension. It activates the body’s natural relaxation response, leaving you feeling more relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle any obstacles that come your way.
  • Promotes social fitness: Known as “social fitness,” meaningful relationships support the need to feel a sense of belonging. Older adults are more likely to stay active and have better mental health when they interact with people beyond their immediate family.
  • Boosts immune function: Believe it or not, laughter has been linked to a strengthened immune system! The endorphins released while you laugh help improve immune function, making you more resistant to illnesses.
  • Promotes mental agility: Laughter exercises the brain, stimulating cognitive function. Playful banter, amusing games, and sharing jokes keep the mind sharp, agile, and engaged at every age!

The best friends are the ones who make us laugh and friendships comes conveniently built into senior living from the day you move in. In fact, just like diet and exercise, friendship in senior living has been scientifically proven to improve mental health.

Residents of Sonata Senior Living enjoy reminiscing and telling stories that inspire laughter and joy. Games, puzzles, contests, and life enrichment activities inspire laughter and infuse joy into every day. From board games to comedies, our senior living residents benefit from the transformative power of laughter and friendship.


Like other aspects of healthy aging, the nutritional needs of older adults change with age. Maintaining sufficient levels of calcium, fiber, iron, protein, vitamins, and minerals in the diet is far more important to older adults, who are at higher risk of nutritional deficiencies. Yet as we age, it becomes more difficult to absorb the nutrients from food.

A healthy aging “hack” used by senior living communities involves preparing and serving more nutrient-dense food to boost the daily nutrient intake of residents. Nutrient-rich diets support healthy aging in the following ways:

  • Enhances immune function: As we age, our immune systems weaken, making us more susceptible to infection and disease. Nutrients like vitamins A, C, D, and E, and minerals like zinc and magnesium are essential for maintaining a robust immune system and provide protection against illnesses.
  • Increases energy levels: Nutrient-dense foods act as fuel for the body, providing consistent energy throughout the day. Seniors who incorporate a variety of nutrients will experience improved energy levels, better concentration, improved heart health, and increased productivity.
  • Promotes longevity: A diet rich in nutrients can help combat age-related decline in physical and cognitive function. Antioxidants found in certain fruits and vegetables protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals, lowering the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Supports bone health: Calcium and vitamin D are critical for maintaining bone density and preventing fractures. Seniors need dairy products, fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, and fish in their diet to meet daily nutritional requirements.
  • Improves digestive health: Adequate fiber intake is crucial for seniors to maintain optimal digestive function. Fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables in your diet can help support a healthy gut microbiome.

Older adults tend to lose muscle mass with age, so packing more nutrients into meals is a healthy aging hack often used in senior living communities in Florida.

Dining services at Sonata Senior Living make it much easier for older adults to maintain a healthy diet. A wide variety of menu options help older adults get a larger variety of healthy foods and nutrients as well as the full range of essential vitamins and minerals.

Using strategies associated with the dementia diet, memory care communities such as Serenades Memory Care use special techniques to help older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia get the essential nutrients they need and prevent weight loss.

Whether you are doing it for dementia care or healthy aging, making better food choices will fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to maintain health and wellness as you age.


When it comes to reducing stress and anxiety, music is one of the most powerful tools and healthy aging hacks.

As we age, stress management becomes increasingly important for our overall well-being. Music can transport our minds, relax the nervous system, and ease anxiety. This is useful for anyone looking to manage stress, but especially for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Here’s why music is a great tool for maintaining healthy aging:

  • Mood booster: Listening to your favorite tunes triggers the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, such as dopamine, helping to reduce stress in daily life.
  • Stress reliever: Music has a unique way of calming your mind and reducing anxiety levels. Whether it’s soothing classical melodies, energizing beats, or peaceful nature sounds, the right type of music can provide a sense of relaxation and tranquility.
  • Cognitive stimulation: Music activates various areas of our brain, stimulating memory, creativity, and cognitive function. Singing along to your favorite song or learning to play an instrument will keep your mind sharp and agile! Some science shows that music can even make you smarter!
  • Reduces dementia symptoms: Research has shown music can decrease anxiety and agitation, and even help people with Alzheimer’s sleep better at night.

Serenades Memory Care communities in Florida use music interventions to improve quality of life for their residents living with Alzheimer’s disease. Programs such as Duets incorporate the science behind music and memory in the most innovative ways.

So, whether you download a music streaming app like Spotify, join a music class or take a dance lesson, incorporating more music into your life will empower you in your journey toward healthy aging!


No healthy aging checklist would be complete without highlighting the importance of regular check-ups with the doctor.

During your next check-up, be sure to request a comprehensive panel that examines the metabolic processes associated with aging. This panel will give you information into various aspects of your health, such as inflammation levels, nutritional deficiencies, sugar and lipid control, immune function, and thyroid regulation, among other markers.

Here’s why this check-up is vital for healthy aging:

  • Early detection and intervention: Regular check-ups provide an opportunity for early detection of potential health concerns. Detecting any metabolic changes early on allows for timely intervention and helps prevent complications down the road.
  • Individualized care: A comprehensive panel examination by a doctor provides a holistic view of your overall health. By understanding your body’s unique metabolic processes, doctors can tailor treatments to optimize your well-being as you age, including diet and lifestyle modifications.
  • Proactive health management: Being proactive in monitoring your health empowers you to take charge of your well-being. The data gathered from the check-up can guide you in making informed decisions about lifestyle, dietary modifications, and exercise routines to support healthy aging.
  • Identifying potential risk factors: A healthy aging panel will reveal any red flags or early signs of increased cardiovascular risk, thyroid dysfunction, insulin sensitivity issues, nutritional deficiencies, or immune system imbalances. Armed with this knowledge, you and your doctor can develop a comprehensive plan to mitigate long-term health risks and support your overall health.

Your health is your most valuable asset. Proactively monitoring and protecting your health through regular check-ups is one of the most important aspects of healthy aging.

Onsite health and wellness services make maintaining holistic wellness much easier in senior living facilities. Many senior homes offer some form of transportation to medical appointments, ensuring more timely access to health care. Others, including Sonata Senior Living, provide services such as visiting physicians and therapists, and electronic medical records (EMR) for seamless communications to health care providers.


While we can’t stop age-related changes in the body, simply moving more can offset some age-related decline in both brain and cardiovascular function.

Staying active is a powerful strategy for improving both physical and mental health. It helps to prevent illness commonly associated with aging and is the ultimate healthy aging hack for maintaining heart health.

Consider the benefits of adding physical activity to your daily life:

  • Enhances brain health: Engaging in regular physical activity has been shown to have numerous benefits for brain health. Exercise promotes the release of chemicals that support the growth of new brain cells. It enhances cognitive function, memory, and overall mental well-being while decreasing the risk of cognitive decline.
  • Boosts cardiovascular health: Regular exercise strengthens our cardiovascular system, improving heart health, blood circulation, and lung capacity. It lowers the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, setting the foundation for a healthy and resilient body as we age.
  • Enhances strength and mobility: By staying active, we increase muscle strength, flexibility, and balance. Engaging in activities that promote strength training and flexibility (think weightlifting and yoga) helps maintain muscle mass, bone density, and joint mobility. This not only enhances physical performance but also reduces the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Supports mental well-being: Exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones, promoting stress reduction, boosting mood, and alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also provides opportunities to socialize, combating social isolation associated with aging.

Moving is at the heart of healthy aging, which is why senior living communities provide daily opportunities to be active throughout the day. Every day offers up a full calendar of heart-healthy activities and fitness classes for residents to choose from, making it easier to stay motivated and try different forms of exercise.

Assisted living communities support the unique needs of residents with disabilities in six important ways. Adaptive exercise programs help them build strength, increase circulation, and enhance cardiovascular health—all while remaining comfortably seated.


Today’s older adults live another 20 years (on average) compared to 1960! But genetics, diet, health, and lifestyle are not the only factors that contribute to healthy aging and longevity. Research suggests that having a strong sense of purpose in life plays a significant role, too.

For many, raising children and building a fulfilling career gave life meaning in the years leading up to retirement. As you age, replacing that sense of purpose is vital to both your physical and emotional well-being, and there’s research to support it!

As a healthy aging hack, living a purpose-driven life enhances health in various ways:

  • Motivation: Having a clear purpose to get out of bed each day provides the motivation to take care of oneself, leading to better health habits and choices that support longevity.
  • Positive attitude: Older adults who feel they have purpose tend to approach life with a more positive attitude. This optimistic mindset reduces stress, increases resilience, and enhances overall life satisfaction.
  • Social engagement: A sense of purpose often leads to increased social interaction, giving older adults a sense of belonging within a community of like-minded individuals.
  • Sense of fulfillment: Having a purpose allows older adults to feel a sense of fulfillment, accomplishment, and satisfaction. It gives their actions meaning and nurtures a sense of personal identity, even in the later stages of life.

Senior living helps older adults unlock the power of purpose in life. It encourages older adults to explore hobbies, pursue new interests, and learn new skills through life enrichment programming. Programs provide a range of daily activities and events to encourage personal growth and deepen one’s sense of purpose.

Check out these healthy aging tips for older adults from the National Institute on Aging.


Healthy aging is not just about taking care of our physical health. It requires nurturing our mind, spirit, and connection with others. Whether it’s through lifelong learning, laughter, nutrition, music, check-ups, staying fit or finding purpose, there are endless possibilities (and hacks!) to enhance well-being as we age.

Senior living communities like Sonata Senior Living understand the importance of these factors and provide a supportive environment where older adults can thrive in all aspects of their lives.

Whether your retirement goals include healthy aging or simply more ways to write the script to your second act in life, senior living in Florida can make each day a richer experience and pave the way toward a healthier and happier retirement.

At Sonata Senior Living, we would love to help you in your healthy aging journey. In fact, we wrote the Guide To Healthy Aging and Longevity!
Download your copy to get started or schedule a visit to a community near you.


Visit Sonata Senior Living and find out how personalized programming in assisted living promotes independence and well-being.


Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease

Is There a Test That Can Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease?

Is There a Test That Can Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease?

At Serenades Memory Care, we’re often asked if there’s a test for Alzheimer’s disease.

Thanks to advances in research, brain imaging scans can now detect Alzheimer’s disease. But these tests are only one of several methods used by doctors. That’s because, while PET scans can detect the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain—a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease—imaging procedures are seldom used on their own to make a diagnosis because they are both invasive and costly, and rarely covered by insurance. Instead, most doctors today rely on a variety of non-invasive cognitive function tools along with a medical history review, physical exam, and laboratory tests.

Understanding Alzheimer’s Screening Tests

In short, there is no single test used to diagnose Alzheimer’s because it is such a complex disease. But if you and your family are hoping to either rule out or get a diagnosis, as a first step, you should ask your doctor about cognitive screening tests for Alzheimer’s disease. This will help your doctor determine if further tests are necessary.

There are several cognitive function tests used by health care professionals to determine if further diagnostic and laboratory tests are warranted to detect suspected Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Typically administered by a neuropsychologist, screening tools are designed to evaluate cognitive function, rule out other possible conditions, and detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory loss is only one of many symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Screening tools assess an individual for attention, memory, concentration, executive function, language, spacial recognition, and orientation, among other indicators.

Cognitive Assessment Tools For The Detection of Dementia

There are a variety of common screening tools, also known as cognitive assessment tools or cognitive screening instruments, used to evaluate cognitive impairment in older adults. These include:

  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
  • Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)
  • Mini-Cog©
  • Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACE-R)

Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)

First introduced in 2005, the MoCA is a well-known, quick, and efficient way to assess someone for cognitive impairment. The assessment itself can be done on paper or digitally and takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to complete.

The test has been widely adopted in clinical settings around the world and is sensitive enough to detect mild cognitive impairment related to not only Alzheimer’s disease, but Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, frontotemporal dementia and other cognitive disorders.

The MoCA consists of 30 questions that examine several areas of brain health, specifically attention span, concentration, orientation, visual and spacial awareness, short-term memory, language, and the ability to draw a clock face.

The test must be administered by a health care professional and cannot serve as the basis of diagnosis without additional tests and/or brain scans.

Of note, at least one study published in Alzheimer’s Research Therapy found limitations related to the MoCA for detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. There is, however, supporting research that shows the MoCA is about 94% accurate is identifying the presence of dementia.

Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)

One of the most widely used cognitive screening tests, the MMSE has been around since 1975 and also consists of 30 questions. It can be taken on paper or online, with 11 questions testing five areas of cognitive functioning. It’s also relatively quick to administer, taking roughly five to ten minutes.

Like the MoCA, the MMSE evaluates various aspects of brain health, including attention span, memory orientation, registration, recall, calculation, language, and the ability to draw a polygon.

The test is scored on a scale of 0 to 30. A score of 24 or higher indicates no cognitive impairment. A score of 23 or lower indicates some level of cognitive impairment.

The MMSE is known for being less sensitive than the MoCa in assessing early signs of dementia, or mild cognitive impairment. For this reason, it is usually paired with additional tests or used as an aid to a clinical evaluation to support a diagnosis.


The Mini-Cog© assessment was developed as a rapid cognitive impairment screening and is, as its name implies, a quick and simple screening instrument that helps detect dementia in its early stages.

Administered in under three-minutes, the Mini-Cog© is frequently used by doctors during annual wellness exams and routine primary care visits with older adults because it is so simple to administer, yet so effective.

The Mini-Cog© involves asking a person to repeat and recall three words. While the screening appears extremely rudimentary on the surface, the questions are designed to unmask subtle executive deficits, revealing the need for more in-depth cognitive evaluation.

Instructions for administering the Mini-Cog© are published online.

Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination Revised (ACE‐R)

The ACE-R is a brief cognitive screening assessment that is sensitive to the early stages of dementia and has capability of differentiating between different types of dementia.

Attention, language, memory, fluency, and visuospatial function are assessed separately in the ACE-R, which has been proven to assist with diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in the earlier stages.

Along with more emphasis on visuospatial functioning, a study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Medicine found that the ACE-R can differentiate between dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, which arms physicians with more data for making accurate diagnoses.

Diagnostic Accuracy of Cognitive Assessment Tools

With so many tools available to doctors to screen for Alzheimer’s disease, you many wonder how accurate they are.

One study published in the JAMA Intern Medicine came to the conclusion that the ACE-R and the Mini-Cog©are among the “best” screening tests for dementia, and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment is the best alternative for mild cognitive impairment.

It’s important to note, there are more than 40 cognitive tests available for Alzheimer’s and dementia screening in health care settings. Many have not been widely examined for accuracy, which is another reason why doctors rely on a combination of assessment tools to assist with diagnosis.

All cognitive assessment tools are used to determine whether a person requires further tests, treatment, or interventions for dementia, since imaging scans are the only way to make a definitive diagnosis.

Getting an Alzheimer’s or Dementia Diagnosis

If you are researching diagnostic tools, consider yourself a step ahead of many. Most people living with dementia are never diagnosed. In fact, Alzheimer’s Disease International shared in their 2022 report that 75% of people living with dementia globally aren’t diagnosed.

Yet, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are approximately 580,000 seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease in Florida. Women, in particular, are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, which makes screening and early detection important.

The good news? Medicare coverage of PET scans could be changing soon, making it easier for older adults to access treatment earlier. Even more promising is the progress that has been made toward creating a blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease. While we are not quite there yet, scientists believe we are getting close to having a blood test for Alzheimer’s!

Memory Care, Support and Resources

If you or your loved one are experiencing cognitive decline, it may be time to talk to a professional. Call your primary care physician and ask about a cognitive assessment or screening for Alzheimer’s disease. The best defense for managing Alzheimer’s disease is early detection and diagnosis.

Getting a dementia diagnosis can be scary. Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, or spouse who’s been diagnosed, you already know that your life will change. Memory care communities are a great resource during this time. Dementia care experts who understand the unique symptoms and behaviors of brain disease can offer support and guidance while helping you make the right decision about your future care needs.

If you’ve already been diagnosed, read about the ten steps you must take after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Schedule a visit to Serenades Memory Care to learn more about
our person-centered approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia care.


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.


What You Should Ask On A Community Tour

What You Should Ask On A Community Tour

What You Should Ask On A Community Tour

Nowadays, senior living communities come in all shapes and sizes, designed to accommodate a variety of styles, budgets, and long-term care needs. Deciding which one is right for you or your loved one can be overwhelming, particularly in Florida, which offers a huge selection of active adult, independent living, assisted living, and memory care facilities.

Retirement has a different meaning now than 20 or even 10 years ago. The idea of “resting” in retirement has been replaced with the concept of healthy aging. Many seniors today view retirement as a “second act,” or a time to trade a life of responsibility for a carefree lifestyle filled with new meaning and purpose.

The List: What You Should Ask On a Community Tour

Questions About Retirement Living in Florida

Retirement living in Florida can be whatever you want it to be, and there is no shortage of choices. If you’re considering a move to a senior living community, you’ll need to narrow down your options. The best way to build a short list is to visit and tour a few top-rated senior communities in your area. To help, we’ve compiled some important questions to ask on a senior living community tour.

What are the admission guidelines?

Most age-restricted independent and assisted living communities require residents be 65 years of age or older. Sometimes seniors younger than 65 can be admitted, but age requirements will vary by community. Assisted living communities in Florida require a wellness assessment and forms such as a Form 1823, so be sure this is on your list of questions to ask.

What floor plans are available?

It’s always a good idea to tour a variety of floor plans in each community to find out what size apartment is going to work best for you. Most senior living communities offer studio and one-bedroom apartment options. Some communities, including Sonata East at Viera and Sonata Lake Mary, offer two-bedroom floor plan options.

What kind of event and activities are offered?

As you tour senior living communities, request an activities calendar to get a sense of the kind of activities offered. One of the key benefits of moving to a senior living communities are the built-in activities and events! In fact, senior living communities give older adults many more opportunities to participate in events than would normally be available to them. From painting and dancing to educational seminars and games, many seniors thrive on picking up new hobbies later in life or reigniting old passions.

What does your wellness program consist of?

Many senior living communities today go beyond games and activities to incorporate aspects of healthy aging, including wellness programs that nurture the body, mind, and spirit. At Sonata Senior Living, our signature wellness program nurtures the seven dimensions of wellness as identified by the International Council on Active Aging: emotional, intellectual, physical, vocational, social, spiritual, and environmental.

Is the community staffed 24 hours a day?

Because safety is a priority in senior living, many communities, including Sonata Senior Living, have 24-hour on-premise staffing and secure entrances and exits. At Sonata, a full-time concierge is also available to assist residents with questions and requests.

What safety features are offered?

There is nothing more important to senior living communities than ensuring the safety of their residents.Most communities incorporate standard safety features such as handrails, grab bars, zero-threshold showers, and emergency call systems in senior apartments. Some communities take it a step further. For example, Sonata Senior Living’s Sonata Safesmsignature program is our pledge to accommodate whatever operational and technical safeguards are necessary to care for older adults.

Do you have hurricane preparedness plans?

Because hurricanes can strike Florida with very little warning,hurricane preparedness should be on the top of your list of questions. Ask the community what their hurricane preparedness plan consists of and if they have backup generators on site. At Sonata, are always prepared for whatever surprise Mother Nature throws our way to ensure the comfort and safety of residents and staff.

How is technology used in the community?

From electronic health records to the latest in AI solutions, many communities are incorporating technology into the design of new communities. Find out how the community uses data and technology to enhance the retirement experience.

Is health care provided at the community?

Many independent living and assisted living communities offer continuing care on site so you will not have to move again if your health care needs change. Ask about the levels of care on your community tour to make sure your individual needs will be met.

Are medical services provided at the community?

Assisted living communities provide support with activities of daily living, but may also provide residents access to visiting physicians, therapists, and other medical services. Some communities will even offer home care if the medical needs of residents become too advanced for assisted living health aides. Every community is different, so choose one that will meet your needs.

What kind of training do you provide caregivers?

In Florida, state statutes specify some level of training for personal care aides working in assisted living and memory care communities. However, some communities such as Serenades Memory Care by Sonata exceed the minimum state requirements to ensure the highest level of care for their residents. It’s always a good idea to ask what level of training the caregivers receive at the senior care community.

What kind of contract or lease is required to move in?

There are several different types of contracts available in senior living communities and they will vary based on the type of community. For example, an entrance-free, or “CCRC” senior community requires a large, upfront sum to move in while a rental community may require a small community fee. When you are touring, be sure to ask for a sample residency agreement or lease and review the various ways you can pay for senior living.

What are the monthly fees to live here?

Very few people will forget to ask about costs when touring a senior care community, but some may forget to ask about cost increases. Senior communities with continuing care options on site will often have fees associated with the various levels of care, so always ask for a pricing guide or rate schedule. Keep in mind, when you take all the costs of home ownership into consideration, renting a senior living apartment may be more affordable than you think.

What does the monthly service fee cover?

A monthly service fee is designed to make life easy at a senior living community. For example, at Sonata Senior Living, the monthly service fee covers just about everything: interior and exterior maintenance of your home; landscaping; parking; meals; weekly housekeeping and linen service; activities and amenities; and 24-hour security.

Are meals included in the rent?

As we age, nutrition plays a vital role in quality of life, physical, and mental health. Meal plans and dining services will vary from community to community, so be sure to clarify how many meals are included in your residency agreement. At Sonata, in addition to a long list of services and amenities, the monthly service fee provides for two healthy and delicious meals each day. Sonata Senior Living communities also feature a variety of dining venues for residents to choose from, including a formal dining room with restaurant-style service and a bar and bistro.

Are menus reviewed by a nutritionist?

Older adults may have nutritional challenges, so senior nutrition is often an important consideration when choosing a senior living community in Florida. Ask questions about how menus are created and if heart-healthy, low-fat, and low-sugar options are included. Even better, ask if you can stay for lunch and test out the chef’s skills.

What are the benefits of living here?

Many independent living and assisted living communities provide a robust lifestyle enriched by activities, social events, fitness classes, educational and cultural opportunities, outings, and more, but asking the right questions will help you decide which community is best for you.

From continuing care to socialization opportunities to nutrition and longevity, there are many benefits to Florida assisted living. As we age,it becomes harder to meet new people. Contact with others becomes more limited due to life changes like leaving the workforce. Senior living provides abundant opportunities to meet new people and make new friends, which many agree, makes life more enjoyable.

Who owns the community?

When touring communities, ask about the experience level of the owners and management company. At Sonata Senior Living, we’ve spent 15 years caring for older adults in Florida and are committed to the people we serve in the state we call home.

What are the steps for moving in?

In general, it is not difficult to move to a senior living community once you’ve made the decision to move! Some communities offer move-in assistance or help with selling your home. While on your community tours, ask for copies of required paperwork so you can review them at home. Sonata makes it convenient to move to a community in three easy steps.

Ask the right questions on a tour to help you choose the best retirement community for you and your family! Visit Sonata Senior Living’s Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about senior living at Sonata.

Learn about the advantages of independent living, assisted living, and memory care and
schedule a visit today to a Sonata Senior Living community near you.


Visit Sonata Senior Living and find out how personalized programming in assisted living promotes independence and well-being.


assisted living helps older adults with disabilities

Six Ways Assisted Living Helps Older Adults With Disabilities

Six Ways Assisted Living Helps Older Adults With Disabilities

According to the World Health Organization, more than 15% of the world’s population is aged 60 years or older, and this number is expected to double by 2050! While some of these folks may never develop a health issue in their lives, statistical data has shown at least one in four of them will develop a disability.

Today, more than 30% of adults over the age of 65 are living with a disability. Not surprisingly, the most common disabilities that seniors develop are related to mobility, such as challenges with walking and balance, followed by hearing and vision impairments. Cognitive disabilities such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are also common in older adults.

Nevertheless, aging shouldn’t discourage anyone from enjoying a full life. With the right senior care and support, older adults can continue to live independently, regardless of disabilities.

Assisted Living Care For Disabled Adults

Did you know assisted living facilities are specially designed to help seniors with disabilities? In this post, we’ll explore six important ways assisted living makes life easier for older adults with disabilities and examine how assisted living care improves quality of life.

1. Accessible Living Spaces: Disabled adults often require living spaces that are designed with accessibility in mind. This may include ADA-compliant features such as wide hallways, grab bars in bathrooms, and wheelchair-accessible showers.

Assisted living communities such as Sonata Senior Living offer wheelchair-accessible apartments with wide doorways, low countertops, and roll-in showers. These ADA-compliant accommodations make it easier for disabled seniors to navigate their living spaces and maintain their independence.

2. Personal Care Assistance: Many disabled adults require assistance with daily living activities and some level of personal care assistance. This generally includes help with bathing, grooming, dressing, mobility, eating and meal preparation.

For example, adults with Alzheimer’s disease often require assistance with eating or modified diets to prevent weight loss commonly associated with dementia. Memory care assisted living communities provide a special form of support to ensure that older adults with memory impairment are receiving proper nutrition.

Unlike skilled nursing facilities which require care delivered by a nurse, older adults who need assistance with activities of daily living are often able to maintain independence across many facets of life, which makes the care of an assisted living community a better fit.

3. Adequate Staff: Disabled adults may require more support than other residents in assisted living, depending on their level of care needs. It’s important to ensure the senior care community you choose has properly trained professionals to provide the proper level of care you and your loved one need. Find out what type of assisted living license the community maintains to ensure they are licensed to provide the care level you or your loved one needs.

Caregivers in assisted living communities like Sonata Senior Living are specially trained to work with disabled adults and offer support in a respectful and dignified manner. For those that require more support, many Sonata Senior Living communities offer visiting physicians and other services on site. If and when health care needs change, our residents have access to a menu of services that remove the need to coordinate doctor’s visits and other appointments. Visiting physicians, specialists, on-site therapy and even mobile X-ray and lab services are just a few of the ways Sonata offers comprehensive support to disabled adults.

Keep in mind, certain eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for assisted living care in Florida. A completed Form 1823 is used to establish how much assistance an individual will need with activities of daily living and determine if one qualifies for assisted living.

4. Specialized Programming: Due to mobility issues and other conditions that restrict travel, disabled adults have a higher risk of social isolation, which may lead to health decline. An abundance of social opportunities available in assisted living communities can help older adults with disabilities connect with others and avoid loneliness altogether.

Many assisted living communities also provide specialized fitness programming that is designed to meet the unique needs of residents with disabilities. This may include adaptive exercise programs, gentle exercise for adults with limited mobility, occupational and physical therapy, and seated heart-healthy activities that help older adults maintain their physical and cognitive abilities.

5. Amenities. Assisted living apartments offer a safe, supportive lifestyle for disabled seniors to live comfortably and maintain their independence. Some senior care facilities also feature amenities that are specially designed for disabled adults.

Community amenities at a Sonata Senior Living assisted living communities typically feature a fitness center, library, theater, game room, swimming pool, and outdoor courtyards with gardens to help older adults with disabilities remain social and active. We hear from residents that our outdoor courtyards are the perfect place to socialize, BBQ or simply enjoy the beautiful Florida sunshine!

At Sonata Senior Living, our lounges, theaters and dining venues create comfortable spaces to enjoy the company of new friends. After all, relationships are at the heart of what it means to live a full senior life, today.

6. Transportation Services: Disabled adults have a variety of needs and preferences when it comes to choosing a retirement community, but transportation services are among the most important since many disabled seniors cannot drive.

Accessible transportation is essential for disabled adults to participate in community events and outings, and access medical care and other appointments. Assisted living communities often provide transportation services that accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility aids.

Assisted living is the perfect solution for those looking for personal care and support in a safe and nurturing environment that fosters independence and socialization—all while providing access to services that help disabled adults maintain physical, emotional, and cognitive wellness.

Questions to Ask About Disabled Accommodations When Touring an Assisted Living Community

When visiting assisted living communities in Florida, it is important to ask the right questions to help you make a good choice for you or your loved one’s future care. Here are some suggested questions to ask during a tour:

  • Are there wheelchair ramps, handrails, and other mobility devices throughout the community?
  • What level of support is provided to residents with mobility challenges to assist with moving around the community?
  • What specialized services are offered to individuals who use hearing aids or have vision impairments?
  • Are there emergency call systems throughout the community and within apartments?
  • What type of support and assistance is provided within the monthly rental fee, i.e., assistance with bathing, grooming, and dressing?
  • What specialized healthcare services are offered, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy?
  • What kind of specialized training do staff members receive at the community?
  • What is the ratio of caregivers to residents?
  • Are there support groups and resources available for families at the community?
  • Are transportation services provided to assist with mobility?

The ideal assisted living community will provide disabled adults a fulfilling and engaging lifestyle designed for healthy aging.

Most importantly, make sure the community you choose prioritizes accessibility and provides disabled adults with a fulfilling, active, and engaging lifestyle.

Sonata Senior Living communities offer a daily menu of life enrichment programming, activities, fitness classes and nutritional dining options to support healthy aging. Schedule a tour at a Sonata Senior Living community near you.


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.


Can Alzheimer's Disease be Prevented?

Can Alzheimer's Disease be Prevented?

Can Alzheimer's Disease be Prevented?

At Serenades Memory Care, we are frequently asked if Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented. To our dismay, there is still no scientific evidence that it can be prevented, but recent studies on brain health suggest lifestyle modifications can significantly lower your risk of developing it!

Scientific advancements related to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease have been in the headlines recently, providing many families with a renewed sense of hope! Groundbreaking treatments such as the new Lecanemab have been proven to slow progression and ease symptoms, but to be clear, there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

While we wait for scientists to discover more effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, doctors recommend focusing on lowering risk, and there is a great deal of research available to show us how.

Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention and Brain Health

The underlying mechanism that causes Alzheimer’s disease is not completely understood, but scientists believe it is caused by the build-up of abnormal proteins called amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain. These abnormal proteins interfere with communication between nerve cells in the brain, resulting in the cognitive decline and memory loss commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, many preventative strategies focus on maintaining and protecting brain health.

For instance, the importance of brain-stimulating activities such as puzzles, reading, and playing music cannot be overstated. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that people who engage in mentally stimulating activities throughout their lives have up to a 33% decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists believe as we age, these brain-boosting exercises generate neuroplastic changes that help the mind stay sharp.

Sleep is also a crucial aspect of maintaining brain health. Sleep allows the brain to repair and renew itself, and a lack of sleep has been associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A 2017 studyfound that sleeping less than six hours per night was associated with a higher level of harmful beta-amyloid protein in the brain, a protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Another study by Berkeley University found that people who had poor sleep quality at age 50 had an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

The connection between diet and dementia has also been widely examined. Research from Rush University Medical Center found that older adults who followed a Mediterranean-style diet had a 54% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease! Also known as the MIND diet, there is a growing body of evidence that links dietary approaches to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Finally, more evidence points to a link between exercise and cognitive decline. One study by the University of Pittsburgh showed us that engaging in moderate-intensity exercise five days a week can lead to significant improvements in brain function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This study found that individuals who engaged in moderate-intensity exercise had better cognitive and memory function than those who did not exercise. Another study by the University of Wisconsin had similar findings, showing 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week could lower risk of developing the disease.

Discover more research supporting the relationship between exercise and Alzheimer’s disease.

Lifestyle Modifications and Alzheimer’s Disease

These research studies and others provide new insight into the lifestyle choices that can either promote or protect against Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no magic bullet that can guarantee prevention, experts recommend making changes in the following areas.

Diet: The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets on the planet and is often recommended by doctors to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats that nourish the brain. Studies have shown that following this kind of diet may also help lower inflammation throughout the body, a marker associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive function in older adults, reduce the risk of dementia, and protect the brain from damage. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week.

Sleep: Studies have established a link between the quality of sleep and Alzheimer’s disease risk. Improving sleep habits, such as keeping a regular sleep schedule, avoiding electronics before bedtime, and managing sleep disorders like sleep apnea can improve brain health and reduce Alzheimer’s disease risk.

Mental stimulation: Staying mentally active, such as engaging in creative or challenging activities like learning a new language, playing a musical instrument, or taking coursework, can help keep the brain healthy and decrease the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

Social engagement: Social isolation and loneliness have also been identified as risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Staying connected to friends and family can improve brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Stress management: Chronic stress and depression in older adults has been linked to an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Finding ways to manage stress, like meditation, tai-chi, or yoga can improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

All these recommended lifestyle changes are far easier to make in a senior living community like Sonata Senior Living. Staying active and socially engaged in a senior living community promotes mental health and cognitive well-being. Life enrichment programming, stimulating activities, fitness classes, nutritious diningoptions and daily social opportunities—all aspects of brain health are intrinsically part of the Sonata lifestyle.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Health

While much research remains to be done, making a few lifestyle changes can be a powerful tool in protecting you against Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illness. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about your risk, schedule a visit to a senior care community like Serenades Memory Care. Our memory care caregivers can help you develop a comprehensive plan for your long-term care needs, making it easier to stay focused on living your best life.

Can Alzheimer’s Disease be Prevented?

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, early interventions can help slow the progression and improve quality of life.
Schedule a visit to Serenades Memory Care to learn more.


Visit Serenades and find out how a person-centered approach to care has allowed us to continually raise the standard in memory care assisted living.